Teachers, unions

Matt Yglesias at ThinkProgress hasn’t always taken the kindest view of teacher’s unions. Yesterday, however, he took one step back from the specifics of education reform and eloquently made the broader political case for unions in this country:

The real impact of teachers being in a union I think is that in addition to whatever teacher-specific stuff they do they also partake of the broader union consciousness. American labor unions do things that are idiosyncratic to the industry they’re in, but they’re also the cornerstones of middle class political advocacy. They stand up against cuts in Social Security benefits and they push for tough financial regulatory control. They were at the core of the coalition pushing for universal health care, and tried in vain to push the United States to adopt sensible climate legislation. You don’t see the American Medical Association or the Associated Locksmiths of America or many of the million other similar outfits doing that stuff.

One Comment

  1. Reverend Lee says:

    Diane Ravitch makes a common sense defense of teachers unions, under the heading “On Teacher Unions,” here:

    http://www.nea.org/home/39774.htm

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